The Fastest Way to Return to Exercise Postpartum
Something that I love about my profession is that there is no end to the amount of learning and knowledge we can consume. Although I've been drawn to pre and postnatal health and fitness for quite sometime, most recently, I've really solidified my place in this niche community. I've had lots of experience working with new and soon-to-be mothers, but if I'm being honest, I felt as though I needed to know more about the postpartum body. I felt like there was a missing link between what I was teaching and how I felt personally after having my daughter over a year ago. Just recently, I was presented with the opportunity to learn under one of the industry's greatest by the name of Jessie Mundell of JMG Fitness Consulting. With the amount of knowledge and understanding I've experienced in the last few weeks, it's been difficult to really even know where to begin in sharing. So I've decided to start here, with this scenario--the same one I was faced with no more than 15 months ago.
Mamas, I know it's hard, but the fastest way to return to exercise after having your baby is by slowing down and then slowing down again. Remember, your body just ran the longest marathon of your life and then you had a baby! Your body has changed, alignment has shifted, you've been pulled and stretched, you literally grew a human inside of you for 10 months! Whether you had a vaginal birth or cesarean, complicated pregnancy or not, it's important to remember that you can't rush pregnancy and you most certainly cannot rush your return to exercise postpartum.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing my experiences and discoveries with you. My mission is to help you return to the activities that you love doing, whether that's distance running, hiking, or throwing heavy weights around in the gym. So now your next question, as was mine, where and how do you start?
Let's start at the beginning, right after you've had your sweet baby. (Even if you're already weeks, months, or years postpartum, follow along. I know you'll find this to be a good reminder.) There are a few things that I want you to focus on because these early moments are incredibly important.
1. Breathe in that sweet baby smell. Study her every feature. Her eyelashes, nose, mouth, dimples. Watch your little miracle sleep peacefully, bundled perfectly in that tiny little blanket. Beam with pride.
2. Drink lots of water, and then drink some more.
3. Eat all the food. Your body is healing and needs all the fuel it can get.
4. Snuggle. Snuggle as much as you can. When you have a toddler that won't sit still for more than 5 seconds at a time, you'll be so glad you did.
5. Rest when you can. I know, it's so cliche. But seriously. The dishes can wait. The laundry can wait. Everything can wait.
So, let's recap, shall we?
Slow down and then slow down again. Be present for those early moments.The rest will come. Love hard, mamas.